Third Chance Pet Adoption Program

Orange County, CA Pet Adoption


Emily’s Success Story

It was day before Christmas. I was going to the Irvine Animal Care Center “just” to donate some sheets and towels and then drive to Phoenix to spend Christmas with friends and family. It had been six month since I lost my beloved 15 year old chow lab mix and I was not ready for another dog yet, but I had time to stroll through the dog center before the drive home. Then I saw Emily, a shy reserved Siberian Huskey German Shepherd mix. She is so beautiful, I thought, and I hope that she finds a home for Christmas. I drove to Phoenix and enjoyed the holidays, but did not stop thinking about her. She did not get adopted at Christmas or in January or February. I kept going to the web site and she was on the video and still there, a third chance dog that had been looking for a home since September.

So one night I drove over to see her. She would not come near me and the staff had dedicated volunteers who worked with her every day to socialize her. They told me she was a high jumper and an escape artist – that was fine, I thought, I live in an apt and don’t have a yard anyway. I had a good laugh when they told me she jumped the high fence and escaped from the Animal Care Center and then jumped back in at the end of the day, when she decided to come back … on her own terms. She also wasn’t very good at making eye contact and very shy – that was fine, I thought, I am patient and all of my dogs in my life had been lost or abandoned and took time to trust and love, so I knew how to gain her trust. She was so beautiful and perfect. Home we went.

Day three, she bolted out through the front door and ran like a graceful gazelle into the green belt and disappeared. My friends and I searched for hours and saw her a few times, but could not get close to her. Finally we went home around 9pm that night and I was despondant, worrying that she would get hit by a car, attacked by coyotes or hopelessly lost yet again in her life. I emailed the Animal Care Center and asked them to watch for her if they got calls and was determined to go out at dawn the next morning and find her. Then I remembered the story about how she escaped from the Animal Care Center and went back. So I got some blankets and a pillow, opened the front door of the apartment so she could get in and laid down on the floor with hope she would come home. Two hours later, she jumped in through the front door! She came home. It was though she had to prove that living with me was going to be her choice, too.

It has been 8 months since I adopted her. Her beautiful personality is emerging and I see the many moods of Emily … “Princess Emily”, the regal queen … “Emster” the goofy playful dog that loves her long walks … “Emmi” the night time cuddler who takes her half of the bed out of the middle … “M” the huntress who stalks rabbits and ducks with precision and determination, “Perpetual 3 o’clock” – the dog with one straight ear and one floppy earn in a permanent 3 o’clock position and “Emmi the traveler” who watches out the front window to “help me drive”. Emily’s best friend is Freddy, a 10 year old chocolate lab, who is her buddy and companion. She LOVES FREDDY, shares her toys and food with Freddy and they go on long walks together. I can’t imagine my life without my perfect Emily and,at the end of the day, I am glad that she chose me.

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